Unqualified driver crashed girlfriend’s car on Christmas Day as he went to collect scratchcard winnings

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A dad has been banned from the roads for two years after crashing his girlfriend’s car after going out on Christmas Day to cash in a winning scratchcard.

Hayden Blades was waiting for his dinner on December 25 when he took the keys to the Vauxhall Corsa from a kitchen drawer of her home in Easington Lane and drove off.

The 19-year-old, who has never passed a driving test, then crashed into another car, hit a parked vehicle causing a lesser amount of damage and knocked into a wall in Railway Street, in Hetton.

Sunderland Magistrates’ Court heard when the driver of the damaged vehicle got out and spoke to Blades, the dad-of-one admitted he had no insurance and asked him not to call police.

The motorist alerted police, with Blades, of Penryn Avenue, Murton, charged with aggravated vehicle taking and causing damage, driving with no insurance, without a licence and driving without due care and attention.

He pleaded guilty to all charges.

Paul Anderson, prosecuting, said: “He said he was waiting for his Christmas dinner at his partner’s and while she went out of the room to look after their child, he decided to go somewhere with a winning scratch card and went out to cash it.”

Chris Wilson, mitigating, said: “This is a young man with genuine remorse for his own actions on Christmas Day.

“He assists his mother in caring for his brother, who lives next door and who has a medical condition.”

In addition to the two-year driving ban, Blades was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 20 days of rehabilitation work, given a 7pm to 7am curfew for three months, and ordered to pay £60 victim surcharge and £80 court costs.